Friday, 19 January 2018

When I Grow Up


    I was watching breakfast TV this morning and there was a feature about children in the UK's future career aspirations. The item didn't catch my interest because it was stating that their choice is gender-stereotyped, but because one little girl said that when she grew up she wanted to be an author.

    I can remember saying that too, however I can't recall as to what the particular reasons were I had for making such a choice. In an early blog I explained I had a love of stories because of my mother and when I got my first typewriter I was desperate to get down to storytelling. I loved writing stories about poor children rescued from a terrible fate, princes saving street urchins and bad boys turning good amongst many other things.

    The touch of a book page, a colourful outer cover, the loud thumping noise in the library when the librarian slides the piles of books along the high shelves to insert a book. As well as the fabulous worlds I could be transported too, both when reading and writing, all played a part.

    The little girl on TV this morning gave her reason as wanting to make people happy, laugh, and smile. Yes, she knows what writing is all about, something that stirs emotions. One thing she will find out though is that writing doesn't just make readers happy, laugh, smile, fearful, or cry. It has the same affect on the author and that's the most important person in the equation.





Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How Do I love thee?

    One English poet I was fascinated with as a kid was, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Reading her poetry swept me into her world, my imagination ran wild. I could see myself wearing long, flowing skirts, walking hand-in-hand with my love.

    Unfortunately, at some point reality does kick in and a little girl's dreams faded. However, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's words live on in the poem I've featured today.

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight
I love thee freely, as men strive for right
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs and with my childhood's faith
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath
Smiles, tears, of all my life and if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death

Saturday, 13 January 2018

An Author's Life


    My post is a little later than I had wanted it to be. But, hey! 'Asi es la vida!' The thing is I've been really busy. I've been preparing some questions for some impending author interviews and a book publicist who is going to give us an insight into her world. As well as my regular blog and of course pending books. Yes, it's a busy 'author's life.'

    In a few weeks time I'm going to be guest speaker at two Burns suppers in the Canary Islands. That is, suppers celebrating the life and works of the great, yet unofficial poet of Scotland, Robert Burns.

    I've been doing this for charity the last couple of years and it doesn't really matter how often I do it, the old butterflies take over my tummy. I've been preparing my 'Immortal Memory' toast to the  bard and although I may be speaking to a different audience this year, I do like to keep it fresh. Saves me boring my friends and myself to death.

    That's an update into my world to date and I will let you know how my supper evenings go in future posts. Have a fabulous weekend guys.

         AUTHOR FRIENDS if you want to feature in my blog contact me via Facebook, or Twitter.

Monday, 8 January 2018

The Castle Old and Grey

    It's the first poetry post of 2018 and I'm featuring Scottish, 19th century poet, Alexander Anderson. I particularly loved this poem of his because I am totally fascinated by old buildings, especially castles. His words I can identify with, because when I too walk into an old castle I think of who walked before me in the corridors and upon the stairs in the past. It wouldn't just be servants, but kings and queens as well. Every inch of the building's floors and walls, all have a story to tell. If they could only speak.

The Castle Old and Grey

I never see a castle
That is gaunt and grey and grim
But my thoughts at once go backward
To the past so misty and dim

To the time when tower and turret
Kept watch far over the vale
And along the sounding draw-bridge
Rode knights in their suits of mail

I see the sunshine glancing
On helmet, pennon and spear
And hear from the depth of the forest 
A bugle calling clear

I fill the hall with visions
Of ladies rich in their bloom
And stately knights in armour
And waving with feather and plume

If  I climb the broken stairway
Where the stone is smooth and fine
I hear a rustle and a whisper
And footsteps in front of mine

Whisper of youth and maiden
As they met in the long ago
His deep and strong and manly
Hers tender and sweet and low

But maiden and youth have vanished
Away from the scene and the light 
Gone, too, the high-born lady
And the plumed and armoured knight

Only the grey old castle
Of crumbling stone and lime
Still stands to speak of the ages
And the iron footsteps of time

                                                                                         Alexander Anderson 1845-1909

Friday, 5 January 2018

Flying Free

         Birds are beautiful creatures and they come in all shapes and sizes. On a winter's day there is nothing more pleasurable than watching a robin bobbing about the snow in the backyard, picking at the dried mealworms that I've provided. Or, the blackbirds  feasting on the pieces of cooked apple that I cooked especially for them.

    Spending  spring and summer days on the banks of  a loch, or canal are filled with great delight, watching the swans, ducks, geese, moorhens and a vast assortment of birds who make their habitat amongst the marshes.

    If we can all enjoy these alluring creatures in their natural surroundings, why is it then that many are captured by unscrupulous individuals and kept in unnatural environment. There is only one reason, that is PROFIT. They are not pets and it's up to us human beings to protect them.

    Today is National Bird Day, let's celebrate our feathered friends.

     Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird.

                  Davis Attenborough
Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird? David Attenborough
Read more at:
Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird? David Attenborough
Read more at:

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Reaching for your Dreams


    So, what plans do you have for January? Do you have writing goals, or do you have life goals that can be achieved in the next year?

    Personally, my goal is to carry on writing and may my ideas  keep on coming. There are many things that I want to achieve in my writing career and sometimes it feels like a real hard slog. As though I'm paddling through water, not going anywhere fast.

    The thing about embarking on a writing career, nobody ever said it would be easy, in fact the opposite. But, as a writer I get to do the thing I love best and that's write.

     Whatever you are embarking on this year, I wish you every success and remember if you don't achieve your goal it doesn't mean you have failed.

    Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream impossible: the fear of failure.

                       Paulo Coelho 
                       Brazilian novelist and lyricist.




Friday, 29 December 2017

Wishing You a Perfect Year


    The year 2017 is now coming to an end. For some of us it may be a time to close an unhappy chapter of our lives and wish on the stroke of midnight that the year about to start is going to meet our hopes and aspirations.

    For others it may be a time to be thankful for the good fortune we have been blessed with, grateful for the love and support we have received from those around us.

    As we take time to reflect, melancholy can creep up behind us, making us think of times gone by, sadly thinking of those friends and relatives who have left our lives, for good, or have moved many miles away. Leaving a great void behind.

    However, I hope that the memories of the joyous times spent with them will outweigh the loss felt and I hope what ever your midnight wish is, you all have a perfect year.